Atacama Plateau (South America)

Atacama Plateau (South America)

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 17:44

The Atacama Plateau is an arid, high plateau in the Andes of northern Argentina and extending into Chile. The "Puna De Atacama" is a cold, desolate Andean tableland in northwestern Argentina and adjacent regions of Chile.

The Atacama Plateau is an arid high plateau in the Andes of northern Chile (15%) and Argentina (85%). The "Puna De Atacama" is a cold, desolate Andean tableland in northwestern Argentina and adjacent regions of Chile.

It is about 200 mi (320 km) long (north to south) and 150 mi (240 km) wide and has an average elevation of 11,000 to 13,000 ft (3,300 to 4,000 m).

The region may be defined as the southernmost portion of the Andean Altiplano (or Puno) and is separated from the Atacama Desert in the west by the Cordillera Domeyko.

The peaks of the Cordillera Oriental alternate with dry, sandy, clay-filled basins containing salt pans (or salt flats). In Chile, the largest is the Atacama Salt Flat.

Most of the region is dominated by a scanty growth of low shrub and is very sparsely populated with Indian and mestizo communities dependent on the valleys for corn (maize) and wheat.